Welcome to the quaint and charming town of Parkersburg, West Virginia. It is located just over an hour from Charleston. The greater Parkersburg area is a place rich in unique history and the art. There's no better place to start a tour than from the scenic overlook at Fort Boreman.
Mark Lewis is with the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau and recommends taking a step back in time.
"The Blennerhassetts were Scottish aristocrats who came here in 1798 and built a beautiful mansion out on Blennerhassett Island," said Lewis.
Before making your way to the island, first stop at the Blennerhassett Museum in downtown Parkersburg.
Mark says, it's not just the ride on the sternwheeler and the beautifully reconstructed Blennerhassett Mansion that have intrigued guests for years, it's the family themselves.
"The Blennerhassett story includes our 2nd Vice President and his ill fated attempt to break away from the U.S. and form a separate country," said Lewis.
You'll have to visit the Island for the rest of the story!
Speaking of famous families ..
Mark says, I tell people they were the original hoarders, they never threw anything away.
And, with that introduction we couldn't resist learning more about Henderson Hall, which was occupied by the same family for 6 generations- since 1859.
"There are so many artifacts here that are original pieces, it is extremely rare for any family to hang onto this many pieces of furniture this many artifacts," said Randy Modesitt, Director of Henderson Hall,"we have thousands of original documents and journals that you don't see."
Next up the Parkersburg Art Center - its the oldest continually operating arts organization in West Virginia, with kids programs and an unbelievable art gallery. It has something for every age!
After a little taste of history and a feast for your eyes, your next stop in the greater Parkersburg area must be at Holl's Chocolate. After having my arm twisted just a little I decided to engage in a little taste testing, and loved the chocolate covered strawberries!
Every piece of chocolate is handcrafted using recipes from the current owner's father, Master Chocolatier Fritz Holl, who brought it from Switzerland in the 1940s.
And, what better way to end your day than a stop at the North End Tavern and Brewery. It's the oldest tavern in the state, serving its first customers in 1899! And, for affordable luxury no place beats the exquisite Blennerhassett Hotel also built in 1899. It's a historic hotel with loads of modern amenities.
"We have our signature suites in our turret rooms if you look outside at the exterior of the hotel its what people call the tower," said Nicole Slattery, Hotel Marketing Director.
So, whether its arts, history or heritage you are looking for .. Parkersburg is the perfect weekend getaway!
What we did on our trip is just the beginning of things to do in Parkersburg. Here are some resources so you can get a few more ideas for your own trip: